Paper presented to the 10th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Florida, 14-16 July 2014.
A metal foam is a porous structure whose solid matrix has a large fraction of interconnected cells. The objective of our study is to define a new manufacturing process via casting that produces homogenous open cell metal foams. This comes down to studying the infiltration and solidification process of a liquid metal inside a porous mould. The metal foams are characterized by their high porosity and permeability values; thus, the size of the mould pore is small enough to be considered as a capillary tube. Therefore, the focus of this paper is on modelling and numerical simulation at the local scale of the infiltration and solidification of liquid metal inside a capillary tube. For this matter, a one-domain approach is chosen.
The defined mathematical model is implemented in a CFD tool: OpenFOAM . A numerical validation is performed by comparing the numerical results with well-known solutions of test cases. Subsequently, a numerical parametrical study enabled us to find the relationships between the penetration length of the liquid metal before solidification and the infiltration time as function of the metal initial superheat and of the mould preheated temperature, two operational parameters of importance in the process.